First, the big picture. Despite the challenging economy, ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini is reinforcing a message of growth. In a prepared statement, ConnectWise said it added 55 employees in the past year, and the ConnectWise PSA (professional services automation) software platform has pushed beyond 55,000 users worldwide. ConnectWise also continues to fill more positions. Within the next six to nine months, ConnectWise estimates, the company will relocate to a 50,000 square foot facility. ConnectWise and LabTech (remote monitoring and management software) will share the facility.
(Just for kicks I did a quick search to determine how much "space" 50,000 square feet actually represents. One common reply: Roughly the square footage of a U.S. football field.)
In many ways, the ConnectWise-LabTech synergies are not surprising. Many MSPmentor readers note that LabTech has shared the ConnectWise switchboard in recent months. And ConnectWise CTO Linda Brotherton has vowed to document ConnectWise APIs for all RMM software providers and other companies that want to plug into ConnectWise.
In other words, ConnectWise says it intends to cooperate with major RMM software providers even as LabTech competes on some fronts with those companies. ConnectWise Capital, the investment arm of ConnectWise, invested in LabTech in early 2010, and LabTech has been adding about 120 MSP partners to the platform each month, according to LabTech CEO Matt Nachtrab.
Other MovesMeanwhile, ConnectWise continues to build and expand IT Nation -- Bellini's term for IT service providers, MSPs and VARs that support SMB customers. IT Nation also is an annual event (Nov. 9-11, Orlando, Fla.). It's expected to attract roughly 1,500 channel partners and channel influencers. And a range of conference workshops will be hosted by third-party RMM, software and technology providers.
In the meantime, ConnectWise is driving home two messages to its partner community: (1) continued growth and (2) sustainable culture. Over the past year to 18 months or so, I think the ConnectWise user base has grown from about 40,000 users to about 55,000 users. Moreover, the company was spotlighted as a Top Tampa Bay Workplace by the St. Petersburg times.
On a pure dollars and cents level, it's difficult for me to "rank" the major PSA software providers (ConnectWise, Autotask and Tigerpaw Software). Each is growing but their business models are vastly different.